How do you get your sins forgiven and yourself into heaven?
A Dozen Thoughts and One Prayer to Overcome Death
1. What's true? How do we know what is true? Where did we come from? Why are we here? What happens after we die?
2. Neither belief, sincerity, majority opinion, nor tradition can make something true (valid conformance to reality across time and culture).
3. The only way a finite being can know these infinite truths is if an infinite being comes and tells us (reveals reality).
4. Is there any objective, verifiable evidence that an infinite being has come to our planet and communicated to us?
5. Is there any reasonable evidence that there is an infinite being, and that He can walk and talk?
6. What standard of proof do we require for our beliefs (concepts, conclusions, and convictions)? Scientific vs. legal... beyond a reasonable doubt?
7. Since we are not self-existing, either something came from nothing or there is a Creator with power and purpose.
8. A Creator with power to create would have power to communicate accurately and reliably, and would do so if we were part of His purpose.
9. The Bible enjoys a reliability and accuracy ten times greater than any other historical record, despite the lies told and believed about it.
10. The Bible reveals the problem of and solution to evil, the purpose of life, destiny of humans, and the power to live abundantly now and in the future.
11. The Creator-God graciously reaching out to man through Christ is vastly different from all other religions' attempts to reach God.
12. If we objectively and honestly examine the evidene, we will find the God who loves us and desires a permanent relationship with us.
The Bridge to the Abundant Life summarizes the Bible's message about the key initial steps we must take to find peace, meaning, security, significance and happiness in this life, and the next. We must make a choice to accept or reject it, after we understand it.
Salvation through Jesus
Jesus said He came so that people could have life, and have it abundantly.
"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep." John 10:10-11(the 4th gospel)
Most people don't experience that abudant life because they are separated from God (rebelling against the Author of Life).
But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. Isaiah 59:2
"All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all" Isaiah 53:6
"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" Romans 3:23
Rebellion against any great King is punishable by death.
"the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus" Romans 6:23
Our earned consequence is eternal death, separated from the God of Life.
"it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him, He will appear a 2nd time apart from sin for salvation." Hebrews 9:27-28
The death penalty is not removed by good behavior, but may be satisfied by someone dieing in our place.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:8-10
Our infinitely holy and just God satisfies the just requirements of His violated holiness by his infinite love.
He died, so we don't have to: But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
"Christ suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit" 1Pt 3:18
God offers to accept Christ's death as payment for our sins, forgive us, renew relationship with us, recreate us, and dwell within us.
Jesus said: "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who (A) hears My word (B) and believes in Him who sent Me has (C) everlasting life, and (D) shall not come into judgment, but (E) has passed from death into life. 25... the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father...has granted the Son to have life in Himself, 27 and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth----those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation" John 5:24-29
To receive the life God offers, we must hear and believe what God has revealed (John 5:24 above). You've heard. Do you believe?
ABC's of receiving God's gift of salvation: 3 steps
1. Admit (confess/agree) that you are separated from God as a result of ignoring, rebelling, and sinning against Him and His will for us.
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1John 1:9 epistle
2. Believe (trust/rely) that God accepts Jesus' death as payment for your sin, and offers to give you a clean slate and relationship with Him
"God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16
3. Claim (accept/receive) the destiny God offers you by inviting Jesus Christ to be your Savior and Lord
"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name" John 1:12
"And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. 1John 5:11-13(the epistle)
Almighty God and Father of life, I praise you for being the God who is merciful, just, and loving. Like an ungrateful child, I have rebelled and disobeyed you and your infinitely wise plan for my life, resulting in harm to myself and others. I believe that Jesus died for my sins, so I don't have to. Forgive me on the basis of my acceptance of Christ's death as payment for my sins, according to your revealed Grace. Please cleanse and change my heart and life so that I may live a life pleasing to you, as I follow my new Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. May I henceforth live as your servant, giving you the glory you so richly deserve. Amen.
"If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17-18
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove (demonstrate in your experience) what is that good and acceptable and perfect will fo God." Romans 12:1-2. cf Titus 3:5